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St Calixtus, West Down, Devon

(51°9′31″N, 4°7′19″W)
West Down
SS 517 421
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Devon
now Devon
medieval Exeter
now Exeter
  • Hazel Gardiner
4 June 2001

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Feature Sets

The cruciform church has nave, chancel, N and S transepts and S porch. The nave and S transept are 13thc, the N transept is 14thc. A plaque in the chancel records that it was rebuilt in 1675 and one on the tower records that the tower was dismantled and rebuilt in 1711–12. The church was restored in 1874 by William White (Historic England listing:1366233). The church is of rubble with some dressed stone. The font is the only 12thc. feature. The church guide states that the font was discovered buried in the churchyard in the 19thc, although a source used by Clarke suggests that it was found under the floor of the church in the 1874 restoration (Clarke 1920, 330).


Before the Conquest West Down was held by Algar and three thanes. By 1086 Drogo (son of Mauger) was Lord and Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances was tenant-in-chief.





Other fonts in Devon churches which take the form of a triple or multi-scallop capital are found in Ashford, Berrrynarbor, Burrington, Christow, Halberton, Horwood, Ilfracombe, Merton, Molland, Netherexe, Stoke St Nectan and Weare Giffard (Clarke 1920, 327–35).


K. M. Clarke The Baptismal Fonts of Devon. Part VII, Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 52 (1920), 330.

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications: or, England's patron saints, London, 1899, 108.

Saint Calixtus, West Down (church guide), n.p., 2000.

C. and F. Thorn (eds) Domesday Book: Devon, Chichester, 1985, 3, 26.

N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Devon, 2nd ed., London, 1989, 899-91.